Staying hydrated is important. It helps to reduce the frequency of headaches, keeps your core temperature down and protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues. As coffee is a diuretic and dehydrator, we’re led to believe that coffee robs you of your body’s much needed daily hydration. However, that notion has recently been disproven. Whilst coffee is known to make you take more regular toilet breaks, it is not a large enough quantity to eclipse the amount of water – of which coffee is 98% - you consume when drinking it.
Coffee has already been shown as an effective contributor to daily hydration goals. But how much coffee can count towards your daily water intake? In a recent article in Everyday Health, dietician Kelly Kennedy states that for ‘each 8-oz cup of coffee, you can count a little less than 7 of those ounces toward your fluid intake. However, water is still your best bet for getting the majority of your fluid each day’
The article continues to talk about how coffee, per say, does not have any observed diuretic effect, but the caffeine does. This means that the more caffeine consumed, the more you’ll have to use the bathroom. Kennedy claims that it’s more the caffeine content within your brand of coffee that effects your daily hydration goals, as opposed to coffee as a whole.
The average amount of water that needs to be consumed per day is eight glasses. The British Nutrition Foundation have suggested an average of what both men and women should drink, taking into account what is absorbed through food as well. The BNF suggest women over the age of 14 drink 2 litres per day, whilst men over the age of 14 should drink 2.5 litres of water per day.
Whilst coffee counts towards your daily hydration goal, it isn’t necessarily the best choice. With tea having less caffeine, it becomes the better hydrator when compared to its counterpart. However, with caffeine being the largest sticking point when it comes to coffee as a hydrator, one simple solution is to drink decaf instead.
Even though coffee is a weaker hydrator, coffee is definitely more flavourful than water alone. So, which is truly better: the 85% of 40 ounces from coffee or the 100% of zero ounces from water?